Gareth Southgate speaks on England's 2022 World Cup draw
England boss Gareth Southgate shared his thoughts on the 2022 World Cup draw, after seeing his side placed in Group B with USA, Iran and either Wales, Scotland or Ukraine.
The Three Lions will kick-off their campaign on the opening day of the competition on Monday 21 November when they face Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium (1pm GMT).
It’s then onto the USA four days later on Friday 25 November at the Al Bayt Stadium (7pm GMT) before the final group game with the winners of the Wales v Scotland/Ukraine play-off on Tuesday 29 November at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium (7pm GMT).
Reflecting on the draw, Southgate said: "The first two teams we've not played for quite a while, and with the third while it's not a total unknown, it could throw up a British derby and we know what they're all about as we've had plenty of them.
"For us, we're in on day one so it's quite clear now what our programme looks like with the end of the Premier League programme and then getting out here as quickly as possible.”
With the top two nations from each group progressing into the knockout stages, Southgate admits he won’t contemplate anything beyond the three opening games.
"We've got to get out of the group,” he said. “And what we've done well in the past is looking at the group and making sure we get out of it regardless of the opposition, and then you build from there.
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"I think when you're seeded, you get the advantage of missing those six or seven big teams and for most of the first seeds, they would probably be pleased with the group they get.
"But there's some really highly ranked teams in Pot 2 and the US is an interesting one for us.
“I know [USA coach] Gregg Berhalter quite well, we've met a few times and had long chats about things, in fact only a couple of weeks ago.
"They've got some good players and we know what they could be capable of as a nation. So that, in particular, is an intriguing game.”
As for the third game, which could be a UK derby with either Scotland or Wales or against fellow Euro team, Ukraine, Southgate must await the outcome of the remaining games and that’s something he doesn’t believe should be pushed.
"In this situation, all of our thoughts are with Ukraine and the people of Ukraine,” he added.
“So when that tie is played and when it's played out is irrelevant for us really.
"It's for the rest of us to adapt and adjust and provide them the opportunity to play as and when they're able to.”
Those hoping to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup can access tickets through FIFA. If you want to support the Three Lions within the England allocation, then you need to register as a My England Football member and then join the England Supporters' Travel Club.
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